Friction in integrating digital storytelling into community activities
For some community groups, the use of technology and digital media is built into the work they do–for example, the Wards Corner Community Coalition‘s very successful use of Stickyworld and social media to tell their story, integrated into the organisation of a whole range of community events.
For other groups, it’s something they would like to weave better into their activities, but which can be difficult to do strategically, for reasons including not just the diversity of skills within the group, but the time and organisational requirements for volunteers to coordinate everything alongside actually running the events. The challenges are rarely ones around motivation or engagement–volunteers are almost by definition engaged in what they are doing–nor indeed, in an era where many group members will regularly use mobile phones, social media and so on themselves, it is not necessarily solely a trite ‘digital divide’ problem.
Instead, in some cases it seems to come down to something like process friction: the route from someone taking photos or video or talking about what they’re doing at a group event, to those photos or videos or stories (in whatever form) being turned into an ‘output’ such as a blog post, an update to the group’s website, or being shared more widely beyond the group (perhaps even to promote it), can be strewn with gaps and bumps and contingencies which make it slow or fractured, from technology incompatibility to issues with user accounts to mental models of how systems work. The route probably involves multiple people, each with his or her own interests, skills and time commitments.